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The Zhuchenko Lectures Get Under Way at BNRU

The 4th annual lecture series on agriculture and biology is entitled 'Modern Problems in Adaptation'. The lectures are dedicated to the memory of the world-renowned agricultural scientist and environmentalist, Professor Alexander Zhuchenko, who died in 2013

The conference draws members of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), heads of scientific research institutes genetics laboratories and their staff, from across the country, as well as former pupils of Professor Zhuchenko. His legacy is carried on by his son, also named Alexander Zhuchenko, who is also a RAS member and Chairman of the Bolotov Foundation.

The Zhuchenko Lectures were formally opened by the Governor of Belgorod Region, Evgeny Savchenko, himself a Doctor of Economics and a member of RAS. In his welcoming address, he underlined the importance of the work carried out by the late Professor Zhuchenko, who laid the foundations of the genetics of ecology, the move towards understanding biological processes and the sympathetic adaptation of agricultural methodology. In his lifetime he accrued many awards for his pioneering work on a systematic approach to productivity and the ecological sustainability of plants, phytoceonosis, agricultural ecosystems, agricultural landscapes and the biosphere, based on adaptive and bespoke use of natural, biological, anthropogenic and other resources, as well as mapping the landscape and biosphere compatibility of the entire Bani agricultural nature reserve. The Governor presented the results of work done on the sympathetic adaptation of agricultural methodology here, namely, the adaptation of soil, a serious challenge facing our food-producing Region.

Professor Oleg Polukhin, Rector of BNRU, thanked Alexander Zhuchenko for his decision to hold the Lectures at Belgorod National Research University. He noted that this was the first such meeting of the country's best minds in agricultural science we have hosted, saying,
It is particularly appropriate that this iconic scientific forum opens on the eve of the anniversary of the University. Our University has all of the most modern facilities and infrastructure necessary to carry out both applied and fundamental research. We have six priority areas, centres of excellence, where dozens of major projects are being carried out, including ones pertinent to this conference. Our scientists are studying the adaptation of living organisms, plant breeding, and micro-organisms. To date, we have achieved good results on adaptive selection of leguminous and cereal grasses, work is under way to develop modern methods of selection of sugar beet, potato types, and fruit crops. Conducting such a large-scale scientific forum will contribute to the development of scientific thought in our university.

The plenary session saw scientists considering the serious problems that perturb the scientific community. Primarily, this is the crisis in crop production, which requires the development of new technology for creating crop varieties that represent a breakthrough in crop yield and quality, focusing on hybrid varieties, and phytosanitary challenges in modern, intensive plant growing.

 Translated by I P Turner, Centre for Foreign Language and Academic Writing

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